General Motors Sparks Mass-Production Of Mainstream Chevrolet Bolt 238-Mile Range EV

If electric vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf offer too little range, the Tesla Model S is simply too expensive, and Model 3 production is just too far off into the future, General Motors is hoping that you’ll give its Chevrolet Bolt a try. GM announced this week that it has begun production on the mainstream EV at its Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant.

Residents in California and Oregon will be the first to take delivery of the Bolt at the end of 2016, while GM will expand sales to the rest of the United States in 2017. The Bolt will have a base price of $37,495, but customers will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit which will drive the price down to roughly $30,000 (state credits and rebates can further chip into your total outlay for the vehicle).

bolt ev front

The entry-level Bolt LT will come equipped with a 10.2-inch central display, backup camera, and run-flat tires. The Bolt Premiere adds a rearview camera mirror, surround camera (to give you a better view of your surroundings in low-speed maneuvers), and heated front and rear seats.

The 3,600-pound Bolt is EPA certified to travel 238 miles per change, which is well over twice what is possible with the Focus Electric and Leaf. In addition, the vehicle is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, which is quite respectable for a vehicle of its size.

bolt ev interior

However, it remains to be seen if customers will flock to the Bolt. Despite its $37,000+ starting price, it still can’t escape the fact that it looks like a subcompact econobox — which it really is in the grand scheme of things.

For its part, Tesla is at least trying to go after EV buyers looking for a dash of style with the Model 3, which will launch around this time next year (barring any production delays) for $35,000 before incentives. There’s no denying that the Model 3 is definitely the looker of the two, as its design approximates a 75 percent scale Model S.